Plan for Fulton State Hospital Passes Constitutional Test

Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) argues that the current proposal to build a new state mental hospital in Fulton is unconstitutional. I disagree. Since 1962, the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that our state constitution allows construction projects which are subject to annual appropriations and thereby impose no binding legal obligations on the state without a constitutional amendment. This is the process by which the state has built or improved 16 state buildings, including the Truman Building, the Secretary of State’s office, the new JCCC, and DNR’s Lewis & Clark Building. It was constitutional for each of those 16 projects, and it’s constitutional now.